Recently, over the time frame of ten days, my emotions have swelled as I observed the processions of Shi’a in Iran preforming their mourning rituals. I’ve witnessed thousands of people coming together daily to express their love of the prophets family (pbut), many martyred; they did this through a series of mourning rituals and prayers.
I could not help become emotionally overwhelmed myself, especially as a Native American, whose history shares a similar fate of that of Shi’a Muslims, two classifications of humans oppressed for centuries, one a race and the other a religion, respectively. Their vigilance and struggle often gives me hope that the Natives of America can overcome and gain back the right to be who they are–on their own lands once more.
In memory of my 2016 Mohar’ram experience in the Islamic Republic of Iran–a theocracy at the root of it’s social system, as many native American nations once were–I wrote a poem, relating two tragic events; the native genocide and the genocide, rather ongoing genocide in some regions of both Shi’a Muslims and Native American people. And just to note, I am by no means a poet or an expert on poetry…
Weeping Shia, I know why you cry,
I have felt it
You weep as I do for my lost treasures
The spiritual heart yearns to go back to a hiatus,
lost in time
–yearning to heal
You could have been there to end the suffering,
If God only willed
–however naive to say.
For we could not save a soul from what the Creator planned
we were born too late, they too soon
–a service for worship
You are just as I have felt, can you not see?
Truth awakened me when I saw your anguish in myself,
I could not save my own;
nor struggle for what little remains
–of time that passes on this human connection
Weeping Shi’a, like the weeping branches
–on a weeping willow tree
–every member hangs
–swaying together, clad in black
The classic singer sang, ‘weep for me’,
and I thought of you in a moment of Rowza
Weeping Shi’a your past departed long ago,
Your past is not lost
–it is not lost.
You have not lost
The mourning dance now enlivens the spirits
–that linger within us
The rhythm of that drum beats to our steps, in your direction
–that ancient part of you is alive in you!
It is alive in me!
If it had not been, you would not be,
Your hearts would be empty today
–you would be lost!
The tragedies that struck
–against the line of perfectly formed chests
like the tragedies that struck my dearlings long ago,
and led me to follow their righteous path
–through your tragedy
We share common allies
Therefore, I weep with you
I give myself to all of you
This common struggle is not in vain,
the spirits of my ancient blood guided me
–with angelic sounds of their battle cries
–to their heavenly companions of Al’ uhl Bayt.
The Struggle Continues…
*I plan to add photos of Mohar’ram soon as a slide show